Air Carrier Certification

UAS Drone Certification

The FAA provides guidance on certification of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in accordance with the US Code of Federal Regulations.
  1. Small UAS is addressed in 14 CFR 107 - Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
  2. Large UAS is addressed in 14 CFR 135 - Operating Requirements: Commuter and On Demand Operations and Rules Governing Persons on Board Such Aircraft.
Small Unmanned Aircraft: Unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds on takeoff, including everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft.
Small Unmanned Aircraft System (Small UAS): Unmanned aircraft and its associated elements (including communication links and the components that control the small unmanned aircraft) that are required for the safe and efficient operation of the small unmanned aircraft in the national airspace system.
Declaration of Compliance: A record submitted to the FAA that certifies the small unmanned aircraft conforms to the Category 2 or Category 3 requirements under subpart D of this part.
Category 4 operations require an airworthiness certificate issued under 14 CFR 21 and be operated in accordance with the operating limitations specified in the approved Flight Manual or as otherwise specified by the Administrator. The operating limitations must not prohibit operations over human beings located inside moving vehicles. The aircraft must be a small UAS (less than 55 pounds), operated within visual line of sight, and operated below 400' AGL, and avoid controlled airspace, and avoid flying over people and certain types of property.
Otherwise, the UAS must comply with 14 CFR 135.

Heavy Lift UAS Drone Certification

USAC provides support for obtaining an FAA air carrier certificate for heavy lift UAS (MTOW greater than 55 pounds) and any of the following operational specs:
  1. Maximum operating altitude greater than 400 feet AGL.
  2. Operations that carry hazardous materials.
  3. Operations beyond visual line of sight.
  4. Operations over people or vehicles.
  5. Operations in controlled airspace.
  6. Operations for hire.
Requirements to operate a heavy lift UAS :
  1. The UAS must have an FAA issued airworthiness certificate.
  2. The UAS Operator must have the following:
    1. Air carrier certificate issued in accordance with 14 CFR 119 and 14 CFR 135.
    2. FAA approved/accepted:
      1. General Operations Manual
      2. Company Training Manual
      3. Hazmat Operations and Training Manual
      4. General Maintenance Manual (if MTOW greater than 750 pounds)
      5. Minimum Equipment List
      6. Anti Drug and Alcohol Program
      7. Operations Specifications
    3. Aircraft compliant with 14 CFR 21 or 14 CFR 23; and, 14 CFR 135
    4. Pilots that are trained and qualified
    5. Director of Operations, Director of Maintenance, and Chief Pilot that meet the 119.69 and 119.71 requirements.
    6. Aircraft and liability insurance that meets the minimum requirements..
  3. Additional manuals, recordkeeping, and items deemed necessary by the Administrator.

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